She Refused Treatment for TB, Is Now Jailed

Woman in Washington state allegedly ignored pleas of health officials for a year
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 5, 2023 9:20 AM CDT
She Refused Treatment for TB, Is Now Jailed
Stock photo of an X-ray showing TB.   (Getty/stockdevil)

A woman in Washington state with the contagious disease of tuberculosis is now in jail after refusing to receive treatment or isolate herself for more than a year. The woman was taken into custody at her home last week and transported to the Pierce County Jail, reports the New York Times. "We are hopeful she will choose to get the lifesaving treatment she needs," says a statement from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. The warrant for her arrest, issued in February after a judge found her in civil contempt, stipulated that she would be held until she no longer posed a threat to the public.

The woman has been identified only by the initials VN, and little is known about her other than that she lives in Tacoma, per USA Today. Health officials say they'd been working unsuccessfully with her family to convince her to take medication. TB can be spread through the air from person to person, and a Pierce County Sheriff's Department filing said the woman had been spotted taking a city bus to a local casino even after the arrest warrant was issued. The CDC logged about 8,300 TB cases in the US last year. (More tuberculosis stories.)

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